If anyone needed better indication of a solid management team and business plan at Facebook to support its high market valuation, they may have gotten the right message on June 9, 2014, when the company announced David Marcus, President of Paypal would join Facebook as VP of Messaging Products.
For a manager with Mr. Marcus’ stature to join Facebook, one can argue, the quality of the company’s business plan, as well as of its management team has become more compelling. But what may prove to be even more promising about this hire is the indication it provides of Facebook moving to take a commanding position in an otherwise unexpected market niche.
As I wrote earlier in this blog, Facebook appears to be the clear online marketing leader in the mobile market, ahead of Google. But what if Facebook’s long term interest in the mobile market is much more complex than it would, on the surface, otherwise seem to be, and not limited, simply, to online marketing? In other words, what if Facebook wants to win the biggest share of the mobile market to provide space for something else; for example, simply grafting the Facebook way of doing things onto a mobile computing engine, and let it take its own direction?
One can argue the latter objective, while certainly more ambiguous, would, nonetheless, pack a tremendous amount of potential. How to fuel the “Facebook way of doing things” in a mobile computing world? Financial services, of course, provide Facebook with a very wide range of tools to tap resources in a search for a lot of energy. Mr. Marcus will likely bring with him one of the best experience sets any manager could bring to this task. After all, PayPal has outperformed any other merchant services organization, not to mention a large number of commercial banks, for years.
Don’t forget Paypal’s roots as the first method consumers could implement to send payments anywhere. Facebook’s focus on emerging markets, together with its commitment to provide the tools required to transform people not connected to the Internet into paying consumers of networks and the applications running on top of them, makes much more sense with the former head of Paypal at the head of the messaging products business. All together, the addition of Mr. Marcus to the senior management team at Facebook looks like a very smart move and very promising for its future prospects.
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